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FAO Meandmyjoe

(3 Posts)
Babyisaac Tue 29-Jul-08 10:53:10

Hi there, sorry if this seems as though I'm burdening you, but I really just need some reassurance and hope you may be able to give me some.

I've read lots of your posts before and your DS sounds EXACTLY like mine. Very high-needs. Mine is now nearly 7 months old and to be quite honest, the past 7 months have been a living hell. Non-stop crying, only happy when carried, won't be put down, hated buggy and car seat until fairly recently. Now weaning and this is yet another challenge.........

I'm going back to work p/t in September when he will be 8 months. To be quite honest, I'm looking forward to it as it will give me a break away 3 days a week from DS and I'm also hoping he will benefit from the time away from me in different environments. He is a lot better with other people when I'm not around, but when it's just me and him he totally plays up to me and there's very little I can do to stop him crying. I do carry him a lot but he has to be put down sometimes and the trauma of this can take ages for him to get over.

He was a much-wanted baby. Took a while to conceive him and we were over the moon when he arrived. Now, I feel ridden with guilt as I look back on his newborn pics with disappointment at the baby I thought I would have. I try not to resent him but when I'm in floods of tears yet again it's hard not to.

He's crashed out in his cot now through sheer exhaustion of the hysteria of being put down. Daytime naps at home are getting easier. He sleeps pretty well at night but still wakes for a bf at around 3am. Some days I feel more positive and others I wonder how much longer I have to endure this. My DH is extremely supportive and things are generally a lot better when he's around, but he can't be here all the time. I go out a lot, to various mum and baby groups, baby yoga, swimming, music group - try to keep as busy as possible so I don't go insane. He's okay with some of them, but you just never know when he's going to go into meltdown mode. Lately he won't even play on the floor with me sitting with him - he has to be in my arms and even then I don't know what he wants.

I suppose the reason for getting in touch with you is because I'm looking for light at the end of the tunnel. How did you cope without cracking up? Did you count the days/hours until your DH was around? When did it start getting easier?

Any help/advice would be gratefully received. I'm pretty much at the end of my tether most days sad

meandmyjoe Tue 29-Jul-08 21:08:26

Hi there, wow what a shock to see my name on the thread title! I thought I'd done something wrong for a minute!

Firstly, I (and many others here on mumsnet) know exactly what you are going through. I'm quite alarmed at how many threads I started complaining or worrying about my ds' behaviour, people on here must hate me! But I guess if it's given you some reassurance that someone else has been exactly where you are right now then who cares?!

Honestly darlin, the stage you are at now was the worst point for me with ds. The whole time people kept telling me it would be so much better by six months and it wasn't, I was shattered and so disappointed. I felt like I was doing everything wrong and at this point ds was most frustrated as he desperately wanted to crawl but could only go backwards hmm. I think at this point I started a thread on the Mental Health Board on here as I really felt I was cracking up.

I can deffinitely realte to always wanting to be carried around, I could NEVER sit down and just enjoy him. He too was a much wanted and planned baby and I felt disappointed and heartbroken when the reality fell so far short of all those plans we had lovingly made.

In answer to your question, yes, I certainly did count down the hours til dh got home. Still do now if I don't get out the house and keep busy! I never knew when ds was going to go in to meltdown so getting out in the earlier days was far too stressful, I became a bit of a recluse and inevitably my mental health suffered!

As he got older, he became much easier to distract and entertain so I ventured into the world again!

Thankfully my ds was always a fab sleeper so I did feel lucky in one area but other than that I just felt so alone and all my friends seemed to be finding it all so easy. I was broken and felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time, it is still hard for me to look back on those days as I feel so guilty but I really didn't enjoy our baby at all. He hated being a baby and God knows I hated him being a baby. The days were never ending, I seemed to put so much effort and love into him and I got absolutely nothing back. Even smiles were few and far between. It was all such an effort so I totally sympathise and really do feel for you.

As for him becomming more clingy and not wanting to play on the floor at the minute, he's at the age when spearation anxiety is just starting out and he's just realised that you and him are seperate people and the fact that you can leave him, this scares him so of course he wants you to hold him and reassure him more. My ds went through the same thing and it lasted til he got crawling at 9 months. My only advice is to go with it I'm afraid, I know that's crap advice but right now he just wants his mummy. Soon he'll be crawling/ shuffling/ walking away from you and you'll be chasing after him like a loon! I am speaking from experience on that one!!!! smile

I have to be honest though, there was no one set date where I suddenly woke up and ds was a happy smiley, easy going baby. I'd hate to give you false hope and a set date of a certain week or month when suddenly it all falls into place. For me it happened so so so gradually. So gradually that it still shocks me now when I suddenly think of the things we had to do to keep Joseph happy and how now we no longer have to do that anymore. Me and dh were laughing just today on what a nightmare it was when I used to pace up and down our kitchen all day with music on, jiggling him til dh got home! It was hell.

All I can say is that ds is a year old next Tuesday and this has been the hardest year of my life! Just to offer you some tiny bit of hope though, he is the most adorable, clever, vocal, engaging little boy I have ever ever known.

Don't get me wrong, I still have difficulties with him. He has a very strong personality and lets his opinions be known! He still has a tendancy to fight sleep in the day and becomes over tired so I still sometimes resort to rocking him to music! He still struggles to sit in his high chair for more than 10 minutes but I relied upon Baby Led Weaning as spoon feeding was just far too upsetting for him. He much prefers feeding himself and it also meant I didn't have to puree everything. (You may want to try it with your ds, it's fab!)

He is just very strong willed and can still throw a tantrum during nappy changes/ getting dressed. I believe this is the case for many toddlers though so I really think he's just hit the terrible 2's early!

On the plus side, he beams whenever he sees me or dh, he laughs hysterically when we throw his teddy accross the room hmm, he giggles when hiding in the curtains and even goes in a pushchair now!!!!! shock He points when we ask him where the clock is or his nose or mouth, he claps his hands with delight when we say 'clap clap' and purses his lips when we say 'pucker up!'. He is very adult engaged and just hated being an infant.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, honestly. Sometimes I look at other people's babies and yes, they still seem so much easier than mine, but then I look at Joseph and all the things he does and I really wouldn't change him. He acted the way he did because he was frustrated and strong willed and in the long run, I think he will be an amazing child.

I know this part is shit luv, but believe me, it passes and you survive (just!). For us, crawling was a huge turning point, but not straight away. I remember the week or two after he got crawling, he was the whingiest most miserable sod and I again felt so disappointed and felt so disheartened. For some reason it took him a couple of weeks to perfect it and get to appreciate the fact that he didn't need to be carried around all the time.

The days of not being able to put him down and pacing around with him are (thankfully) gone and I adore him more thn I could ever have imagined.

I now no longer fear our future with a terrible child as I have sen glimmers of the amazing, spirited, happy little boy he is so quickly becomming. There is a huge bright light at the end of the tunnel which you will soon be basking in!

Honestly, I think babies like this are just very frustrated, clever and have strong personalities- not a bad thing as they get older and you can channel their energies into something and they can engage in their surroundings. Right now the world is so abstract to him and nothing seems entertaining to him as he doesn't understand it. My sister was exactly the same as a baby. My mum would be crying and tearing her hair out but as soon as she got walking and felt like she was part of the world, she turned into the most amazing, (always strong willed!) but so so clever and engaging little girl and to this day has always remained very strong and grounded, not off with the fairies like me! It will be worth it in the end.

If ever you want to chat just reply to this and I'm bound to see it! I know how lonely I felt and I really don't want you to feel that way.

It does get better, I promise.


meandmyjoe Tue 29-Jul-08 21:18:14

Also if you want my email address I can put it on here and feel free to email if you don't wanna post everything on here. My main advice is to communicate by any means possible. I was so isolated and I just needed someone to tell me that it would get better. Thankfully mumsnet provided that but it was a lonely horrible time which I am nearly (fingers crossed!) out of!

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